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Purple Rain (1984)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 1



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 45,839

My Rating

Movie Info

Purple Rain, the first starring film for Prince, is the story of an arrogant, young black singer, born and raised in Minneapolis, who reaches the pinnacle of stardom. The dramatic complications include "The Kid's" (Prince) miserable home life, where he suffers the brutalities of his father (well played by Clarence Williams III) and the youth's efforts to win the love of the beautiful Apollonia. Despite the misogynistic undercurrents in Purple Rain, the film's biggest fans were young women.


Drama, Romance, Musical & Performing Arts

Aug 24, 2004

Warner Home Video

Watch It Now


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All Critics (35) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (8) | DVD (21)

It's probably best to think of the film as an extended music video, a watershed moment for movie sound tracks, and not much more.

July 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

worth a rental for the curious and is a keeper for his fans

March 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called Purple Rain--the Citizen Kane of Minnesota movies and a worldwide showcase for the ascendance of its then-26-year-old star into rock 'n' roll eternity.

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

...there is so much good music easily distracts one's mind from the clunky histrionics.

July 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

The musical performances are memorable, everything else is forgettable

June 23, 2005
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Bland Prince vehicle that takes itself far too seriously.

May 28, 2005

intriguingly well-told story

April 6, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

Those who are looking for a two-hour music video with a coherent story will not be disappointed.

November 6, 2004

The performers have a bit of a wink behind their performances, and so the artificiality meshes together neatly.

September 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Purple Rain shares a trump card--its set list--with casual Prince fans, who are advised to reach for the soundtrack album instead.

August 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Purple Rain's gazillion-selling soundtrack album has more or less eclipsed the film in pop culture history books.

August 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Short people of Hollywood...DANCE!

June 20, 2004

it isn't much of a movie, but it's one hell of a show

June 3, 2004 Full Review Source:

A classic '80s rock movie, whose soundtrack was perhaps the best album of the decade.

December 13, 2002
New Times

Prince is one of the most talented musicians of our time. His movie doesn't quite reflect that, but it's in Minneapolis, so it's cool.

November 22, 2002
Juicy Cerebellum

So-so picture that is most notable for the terrific musical sequences featuring Prince and his band.

October 11, 2002

You'll have a rockin' good time!

September 17, 2002

Where are all those people who called this "the Citizen Kane of rock movies" hiding?

August 21, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Purple Rain

Purple Rain is a surprisingly average musical drama starring Prince. I had heard countless things about this film, and I finally checked it out. Well, it's not a great film by any means, and the film is more famous for its soundtrack, which is quite good. The film has its fair share of faults, but manages to be entertaining due to an interesting performance from Prince. I enjoyed the film, but I felt it could have been better. The songs are obviously the standout aspect about the film, and the plot is a bit cliché as it's something we've seen many times before. Those interested in this genre of film will surely enjoy this one; others will find it not quite enjoyable. By today's standards it's quite dated, but it is a far better film than the remake of Hairspray and Rock of Ages. Some elements on-screen work well, but others don't and you clearly see where the film fails. Purple Rain should have been a great dramatic musical, but it only touches the surface in many ways. In the end, you are left wanting more than just a good soundtrack. Prince has done some stellar work in terms of music, but as an actor, he just isn't cut out for it. At least the songs he has written for the film are memorable, and that's the main reason to see this film. I'm not normally one to enjoy this type of music, I'm more into Heavy metal, but the tunes here are timeless and it is fun to see Prince perform them. The plot could have been reworked a bit as well, but overall this is a good film to watch when you have nothing else better to do.
June 18, 2013
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Obviously the music and watching Prince perform it is the only good thing about the film.


Prince's live performances are legendary, "Computer Blue" is sick
April 6, 2011
Lenny Muggsy

Super Reviewer

I've always been a fan of some of Prince's songs such as "1999," "Little Red Corvette," and "I Would Die 4 You." Of course, since I'm alive and especially since I live in the United States, I've always heard tons of people praise how great the Purple Rain Soundtrack is, but I don't remember anyone ever praising the movie.
To make it short, I didn't know what to expect from "Purple Rain," (the movie), but since I did like some of Prince's music, I went ahead and watched it. I was expecting it to be full of concert clips and mainly to just be about Prince's music, but I was wrong. "Purple Rain" is about Prince's ups and downs, both with his music and his personal life. When you watch it, you'll see Prince struggle with his family, his girlfriend, and believe it or not, even with getting his music career started. If you're familiar with 80's music, then you'll also recognize Morris Day, who performs some of his hits such as "Jungle Love" and he poses as Prince's main adversary.

Of course, the biggest standout with "Purple Rain" is the great music. You'll hear such familiar 80's pop sensations as "Purple Rain," "I Would Die 4 You," "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy," and others. However, "Purple Rain" is also entertaining with its other stories that have nothing to do with music or concerts. If you haven't ever saw "Purple Rain," I recommend giving it a try and possibly buying it. You just might go crazy for it. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001.
September 11, 2009

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Purple Rain Sing-Along (DE)
  • Purple Rain Sing-Along (UK)
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